Thanks to my Mom

For Mom

For Mom

Thanks

Thanks, Mom, to you
for putting up with me another year
thanks are way overdue
you find my screws that disappear
and that’s why I love you.
(One of the reasons I hold dear
your love, at least, for sure.)

With Love,
Lola

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My blogging 2012 in review

For anyone who is interested in checking out my full annual (or as annual as Oct. to Dec. can be) report, happy looking. 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,100 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

13 Questions before 2013 – New Year’s Eve Reflections, a 2012 Summary and Thanks

NewYear2013

With the new year just around the bend, it’s a good time to stop and reflect upon the old year. I found some questions and thought it would be fun to answer them. WordPress also arranged some 2012 blog stats, that I took screenshots of to share with you all below the questions. Anyway, here are the questions:

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1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

That my family is still my family. My biggest fear about them changing their mind and continuing their lives without me didn’t come true. They continued to put up with me, that’s the single best thing that happened.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Probably my sister’s wedding earlier this year. I’ve never been to a wedding before, it was away from home, everything unfamiliar, all those people I’ve never seen, quite some drama on my part, it was very challenging. I’m glad it’s over and done with and nobody else is to marry any time soon.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

Blogging, probably. I started in October and didn’t really know what to expect. I just wanted a space and a reason to bring my thoughts together for. And it turns out I really enjoy it. It’s also the closest thing to a social life outside family that I have gotten, and I didn’t expect that.

4. Pick three words to describe your 2012.

Interesting – chaotic – thought-provoking.

5. What were the best books you read this year?

Oh gosh, I’m a poor reader so I don’t tend to read books. Mom started reading ‘The Children from Noisy Village’ to me and I really liked that, though. So that’s probably the best book this year.

6. With whom was your most valuable relationship?

With my mom. She is the one person I couldn’t live without. I need her to guide me through my life, to keep me sane, to keep me safe and to just be there and love me. Without her I’d die. Yeah, and I know this is not the healthiest attitude for a grown-up person to have, but I am no grown-up person.

7. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

I learned to pause and reflect more. I used to be all emotion when I felt something, all caught up in the feelings and the thoughts that went with them, unable to see beyond or back or any alternative. But I learned to keep two streams of consciousness going. One that feels the emotion and thinks the related thoughts, and one that stays kind of aware that even when it feels like the only way to see things, this might not necessarily BE the only and/or most appropriate way to react.

8. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

Hm. I don’t know. Spiritually. Now that’s difficult. Maybe the closest thing to spiritual growth is that I learned to value virtues. Often my emotions still get in the way of acting accordingly, but at least living by virtues like honesty, acceptance, compassion, kindness, generosity, integrity, patience etc. has started to look attractive and like something I want to have in my life in order to be happy and feel whole and stuff. Is that spiritual? I don’t know.

9. In what way(s) did you grow physically?

Uhhhmmm… even harder. I’d like to grow a couple of inches taller, but that’s just not happening anymore. I don’t think I grew physically in any other way.

10. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

I feel like through blogging I’ve become a little better at relating to other people. I seriously didn’t think I could do interactive stuff like comments very well, because in real life I am not able to cope with this kind of spontaneity, with people saying something to me, very well at all. But I discovered that I can cope with the comments that come up when blogging fairly well. So maybe I’m not such a total failure with people after all, and being able to see that feels like growth of sorts.

11. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

Probably the moments when I dissociated over small stuff, because I couldn’t cope. It steals large parts of the day when I am absorbed into the fog of dissociation, not noticing stuff, not able to be truly myself when reacting, not able to think properly, not able to process and just live my life. I suppose it serves a purpose, otherwise it wouldn’t be there, but it feels like a waste of time.

12. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

Making active efforts to get my mental health into a better condition. Also blogging about it. Writing. Drawing. Coping with stuff that came up. Those were the best ways that I used my time.

13. What is your biggest wish for 2013

My truly biggest wish for 2013 would be for society to do a major turn away from the present profit- and results-orientation with little tolerance for deviant ways of thinking, feeling and behaving, if they don’t lead to more money being made. I wish for society to turn towards truly caring for one another on a larger scale, towards everyone becoming aware of their joint responsibility for everyone within the society and where kindness, righteousness and tolerance take priority over money. I can dream, right. My biggest personal wish for 2013 would be to keep on improving my mental health and for my family to keep on wanting to have me around.

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I also want to give everyone a heartfelt THANK YOU for 4.161 views since I started the blog in October, for a total of 588 comments (including my own) and 96 followers. I’ve gotten views from 58 different countries, which I find totally amazing.

2012-WhereFrom

Just the same thank you for all of your awesome blogs that I enjoy visiting every day and for sharing your journeys.

2012-WhoCommented

Special thanks go to you, nobodysreadinme, prideinmadness, gypsy116, vwoopwvoop and finallyamanda for all your comments. 🙂 (If you haven’t checked out their blogs yet, they are all worth a good look!) And thank you just the same for everyone else who commented. I really appreciate reading your thoughts, every single one. All the comments I got have been kind and nice. Thank you for that.

I wish everyone a great

New Year’s Eve

today and a safe, happy,

healthy and fulfilling

year 2013! 🙂

The Sexual Healing Journey begins

SexualHJ-one

I don’t know if I am being brave or stupid, not even having the sleep issues resolved yet and wanting to go ahead and start the sexual healing journey. If you have been around for a while you’ll remember that I decided this was going to be my project for 2013. If that’s news to you, you can read about it here.

Anyway, I am figuring that when the sleeping crap is PTSD related and a great big part of my PTSD comes from childhood sexual abuse, I might as well start the journey now. That way, if it’s gonna give me sleep issues, I can just tell them to draw a number and stand in line and I won’t even notice much of a difference.

Like a regular journey might, this one starts with a trip to the travel agency, in the form of reading the “About” or “What to Expect” chapter the book starts out with. Or at least that had been the plan, before I discovered that one disadvantage of the book is that the pages are bulging with closely spaced lines full of small print that doesn’t even contrast so well with the page, because it’s eco-friendly yellow-grayish paper. And while I’m all yay for eco-friendliness and not wasting space with big letters and spacing, it gives me a real problem.

See, I’m not a very good reader. Especially when I read a longer text, the lines seem to wobble and words blur and jitter before my eyes. I have a hard time staying focused, my thoughts want to go somewhere else and often I can’t put meaning into the words I read. The small print of the book flat-out invites that to happen. So before I even started with anything I had my first little breakdown over feeling like I was incompetent because I couldn’t even read it. Tears, anger, disappointment, self-hate, perfect drama…

It’s sorted now. Mom assured me that even the brightest chipmunk can have a reading problem, and she said she’ll read the book to me. Even said that that’s good with her because she’d like to know what I’m reading about anyway. So that was sorted, we had a read-aloud trip to the travel agency and I took notes of what to expect.

What I learned about the sexual healing journey:

The book explained that sexual abuse affects not only the psychological but also the sexual development and that therefore facing sexual issues directly is going to be a big part of the journey. – That sexual abuse has effects on sexual stuff should hardly be surprising, but it’s really something that gets hushed up a lot. I’ve even had therapists who grew uncomfortable at the mention of sexually deviant behavior or thoughts and prefferred to deal with the nonsexual issues, like that was going to make the sexual issues magically disappear.

I learned that I fit 6 of the top 10 sexual symptoms of sexual abuse consistently, and another 3 symptoms are floating by every now and then – not really surprising me either, though it’s a bit disheartening to see it spelled out so plainly just how well those symptoms apply to me.

I learned that anyone can go on the sexual healing journey – goodie, because that includes me.

I learned that the sexual healing journey is going to take time, as in months up to years – but then what else is new? At least time is something I’m not short on, so it’s alright.

I learned that sexual healing and the general healing go parallel ways alongside each other and will alternate in which is more prominent, and that you can go back and forth between them, rather than wait for the sexual healing to take place once the general healing is achieved – makes sense to me. My sexual crap is not really good at patiently waiting in the backseat anyway.

I learned that highs and lows are to be expected and that it’s good to have help along the way – not the most surprising of revelations, but I suppose it’s good to point it out anyway. The book said it can be uplifting to increase understanding and stuff, but that the journey can also get depressing and upsetting, can upset daily routines or day-to-day functioning. Is that really what I need, I wonder? But then, my day-to-day functioning is not really the grandest to start with, and it is that way BECAUSE of all those issues I’m having, so getting my stuff upset a little more is probably a small price to pay. (Of course I might think differently when it’s actually happening. But until then, I’m good with it.) I have my mom and F, my therapist, in place to help me, I feel like I can dare to start the journey.

I learned that on the sexual healing journey I’m required to face my most personal feelings and that I might want to keep a journal or something to write about my feelings – I’m blogging, that’s kind of like journaling. I’ve also got my mom here to help me tolerate what’s gonna come up. At least I hope that’s how it’s going to work. Even so, I’m nervous.

I learned that the book claims that I can repair the damage done to me – bold claim, hey! I’m skeptical about it, because it doesn’t feel that way, but then, I don’t feel like a good many of things beforehand and am not all that good at anticipating feeling in general. It says when I reclaim my sexuality, I reclaim myself. Sounds awkward to my ears and makes me nervous. But I’m all for reclaiming myself, so I’m gonna take a deep breath and do it anyway.

I learned that I’m advised to go slow, listen to myself, trust myself, and only start the journey when I’m ready. That I am my own gauge. – Tell that to the girl whose own gauge is nothing but a jumble of cryptic symbols. My gauge has been messed with, you know, which is why I need this book in the first place. So I don’t know how well I do with trusting it. I guess the advice means well, but it rather sounds like something I want to have achieved at the end of my journey than something I can fall back on already. But even so, I feel ready. So I guess I’ll pack a bag, bring food supplies and just start the journey to find out what it is like.

Wish me luck.

Tough Day

After a tough night, unsurprisingly, there is a tough day. I’m trying to make the best of it, but it’s a challenge. Why is it that good days so often come with a right royal rebound? I’d like to know who invented that so I can kick them.

I tried to zentangle my way to more calm today, but it didn’t really work because I couldn’t focus long enough and got frustrated and fed up with my drawing. So here’s a zentangle from yesterday, which I did during breakfast while I waited for everyone to leave.

Zentangle4

What temporarily distracted me was when mom turned an old blouse of mine into a vest kind of thing for little Lola. I enjoyed watching her sew and telling her where the stars go. I also enjoyed fashioning an earring of mine into a pendant for the necklace. But the distraction was only temporary and afterward I went back to feeling… weird.

Here’s little Lola displaying how I feel.

Sulking

Yeah, not much up with me today. Before lunch mom shooed me outside to grab some sunlight. I bristled. We ended up sitting in the cold on the veranda. Strange day.

I feel like I have all those things going on in my head, but instead of happening in full view, all thoughts have disappeared behind frosted glass. I can press my nose against it and make out shapes and stuff, but that’s it. Maybe that’s a cue that I need to spend the day recharging rather than trying to figure out what’s going on in my head and getting frustrated over it.

Hey, but so I don’t come across as being all grumpy, I hit my 100th blog post today! This is the 101st! I don’t know why, but it feels worth mentioning. 🙂

PTSD related sleep problems flaring up

Night

Sleeping has become a real pain again. Having everyone here for Christmas has messed up the hard won semblance of stability in my sleep-wake cycle quite a lot. Having people around during the night increased my PTDS related watchfulness, being on high alert doesn’t agree with sleeping, and to finish the mess off, the sleep and loss-of-control and darkness related anxiety reared its ugly head. And as is so often the case, the brunt of it is only showing up with a delay, now, once everything is calm again.

Going to sleep last night was hell. I ended up crying and threatening I’d hurt myself if mom left me alone during the night. (Any trust that she was not going to shove me into bed and lock the door to leave me to a miserable nightly death had gone out the window.) And while I calmed down when she assured me that she was there and let me curl up with her, lying down itself gave me new anxiety and eventually triggered a flashback that consisted of the physical sensation of someone choking me.

I think it was at least three at night before I was calm enough to fall asleep. Not that it was very restful, but at least it was sleep. Even so, this morning I feel done for. My eyes are itchy from crying so much, my nose is stuffy and my head hurts. I’m weary and irritable and would like for the whole world to leave me alone, but at the same time I panic when mom only so much as walks a few steps away from me. And I already dread the next night.

I guess it’s progress, though, that even through most of this crap Christmas blowback, I can keep my self-observing me switched on, instead of being fully immersed in the moment only. I’m more aware than I used to be. For example I have always begged mom to give me some drug in the past, because I felt like I was not going to survive without, and I did not this time, because even when it felt awful, I was still aware it WAS going to get better eventually, even when it felt nothing like getting better at the time and drugs weren’t going to make it a shorter struggle in the long run. This kind of double consciousness, for the situation as well as reflections upon the situation, is new.

So what do we do instead of drugs? Mom and I made a battle plan during breakfast:

  • keeping to my usual sleep schedule, getting up in the morning even when I’m tired, without sleeping or napping during the day
  • keeping to a healthy diet of unprocessed foods, avoiding sugary snacks, sugary drinks etc.
  • going outside every day to catch some sun and fresh air
  • making an effort to resolve feelings from the day before going to bed
  • making an effort to make bedtime a safe, cozy time again
  • cuddling and calm talking and stuff before sleeping
  • no going to bed and falling asleep alone, so I can turn to mom for help early on when I notice things start to go bad, instead of waiting too long and ending up in the thick of it
  • lots of feelings-of-safety enhancing stuff during the day, like getting back to our familiar routines, sensible quality time, etc.
  • and as a long term goal keeping on working on reducing the PTSD effects during therapy, obviously

So far so good. I dearly hope It won’t take too long until the worst sleep shit goes away again. I’m not keen on giving the last crap night too many repeats. Ah well, whatever. I’m sleep deprived, so I’d probably start rambling if I kept on writing. So I figure I’ll start the day instead and see what it brings. Have a good one, everyone!

The Day Christmas Turned GOOD!

I don’t have words to convey just HOW excited I am!! Seriously, I don’t! No fucking way in hell could any word be awesome enough, I’m so happy!!

So what happened?! First of all, we waved the family goodbye! They are good people and I love them. Really, I do. But loving all of them at once is a bit much. I’m better at loving them from a distance or one at a time, so I’m really, really, really relieved that they finally all hopped back into the cars they came in, and quite early in the day, too.

That made for a great start into the day! Seriously, once everyone was gone, I just sat down and listened to the silence and the familiar sound of mom doing the dishes everyone left her with after breakfast and it felt like finally, FINALLY after way too many days that stretched out like a mini eternity things are back the way they are supposed to be. So that alone was a top-notch start into the day.

It also meant Christmas was technically over. Good riddance and all that.

But THEN the mailwoman came. See, I’m curious and even when I never really get any mail, I always want to know what mail we do get. But instead of letting me take the mail with her, mom sent me away. She turned all “no, you stay in the living room today” and when I took offense and demanded she stopped this injustice, she just said “because I say so” with her ‘don’t you dare talk back now’ voice. Which almost ruined this perfect morning, because I got quite pissed at her over it.

So when she and dad came into the living room after the mailwoman was gone, I was sulking by myself in the armchair. I did my best to markedly ignore them, with mom having been so mean. But they came over and wished me a merry Christmas all over again. That was so weird and out of place that I forgot to keep sulking, because checking whether they had gone nuts took priority. Crazy family or what?!

Yet they were smiling and looked like they were serious, and produced from behind their backs a fairly big package. Not wrapped or anything, just a cardboard box.

Remember how I was disappointed because I was not getting the one thing I had ended up hoping to get for Christmas? How I had stupidly not even told mom (or anyone else, for that matter) that I was hoping to get that? The stupid disappointment that had sort of ruined Christmas before it even began, because nobody had known I was hoping to get that thing, and therefore ended up not getting it?

The thing was a doll that might have ended up at our house because a lady from the neighborhood had asked mom whether she had any use for it. I had caught a glimpse of the picture of the doll the lady had shown mom, more out of curiosity than because I care for dolls. But when I had seen the doll I had been caught by surprise, because hands down, the doll looks like little a plastic version of me. I kid you not. So when mom had told the neighbor lady she’d consider whether she wanted the doll, I had kind of started hoping that she’d say yes. And then I had started to really, dearly hope she’d say yes, because in my mind I had started picturing how cool it would be to make the doll, like, mini-clothes that are just the same as I would wear, and maybe put a pink strand in her hair like I have . . .

But of course I never told mom about any of it. That’s BPD for you. Surely everyone should be able to read my mind, right?! So when I had casually asked mom before Christmas whether she had decided what to do about the doll yet, and she said she had told the neighbor lady to rather make some child somewhere happy than have the doll gather dust with us, I was gravely, utterly, terribly disappointed. Devastated, really, because my little dear fantasy about turning the doll into a tiny version of myself just vanished into nothingness and I hated mom for not having thought of me.

Yeah. So guess what was in the box mom and dad produced from behind their backs.

ChristmasPressie1

Have I mentioned that I really, really love them? And not because they ended up spending all that money on the doll for me. That’s the part that makes me feel guilty, because I think for having been so stupid not to even tell mom, I shouldn’t be getting anything at all now. No, why I love them is that they noticed how disappointed I was and took it seriously. Instead of teaching me a lesson by saying “see, that’s what comes from not sharing your thoughts” they got me the doll and said “see, that’s what comes from sharing your thoughts”. I love them.

And I love the doll. Yes, that probably makes me a big kid, but I still love the doll. She looks like a mini-Lola. Her hair is the same color and length as mine, it slides over her eyes just like mine does and she has blue eyes, just like I do. Even the shape of her face looks similar to mine.

ChristmasPressie2

I adore her shoes and pair of jeans. The rest of her outfit I probably wouldn’t wear, but hey, I’m gonna change that! I’m gonna give her a pink strand of hair like I have and I’m gonna get her clothes I would wear. And then, I don’t know.

I’m so happy. Christmas turned GOOD. And I have awesome parents. I love, love, love, love, love them! Bring on the rest of the year and the start of the new one! 🙂

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